CNN picks Vigan as one of Asia’s most picturesque towns

MANILA -- Atlanta-based CNN has picked Vigan, Ilocos Sur as one of the "most beautiful towns" in Asia for its heritage and architecture dating back to Spanish colonial-era.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomed the selection, agreeing that Vigan's heritage and food made it "a picture-perfect site and deserving of the spot" in the CNN's list.

The CNN citation of the City of Vigan means that sustainable tourism is not just about environmental protection but also the preservation of the country's history and culture, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

In the CNN list dated August 28, Vigan was described as "one of the best places to experience Spanish colonial-era architecture in Asia".

The Plaza Salcedo, including the white and yellow St. Paul's Cathedral and the Calle Crisologo, were cited as three must-visit areas in the city.

CNN also mentioned the city's public market and pottery workshop that gives tourists an opportunity to craft traditional earthen jars.

Vigan, established by the Spanish in 1572, is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage City.

Selected as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities in 2014, Vigan's attractions also include food adventures with its established culinary scene that features unique native dishes, such as Bagnet, a deep-fried crispy pork belly dish; Poqui-poqui, a mixed vegetables dish; and Empanada, a stuffed fried pastry.

Aside from Vigan, also included in the CNN 13 most picturesque towns in Asia are Hoi An in Vietnam, Yufuin in Japan, George Town in Malaysia, Luang Prabang in Laos, Kampot in Cambodia, Phuket Town in Thailand, Sai Kung in Hong Kong, Zhouzhuang in China, Kota Gede in Indonesia, Galle in Sri Lanka, Mawlynnong in India, and Ghandruk in Nepal.

Source: Philippines News Agency